How do you travel through Austria by car during Corona?
On the trip to Styria, we were concerned with the question "How do you travel through Austria by car during Corona?" What do we have to be prepared for? What about the rules of conduct that Corona demands from us? Things have been relaxed. In Austria, the easing is going further than in Bavaria. But there are also Corona hotspots in Austria. At the time of our trip, one of them is in the Linz region - just a little off the route we are in Styria drive. What does this mean for us and our behavior in order to keep the risk of infection as low as possible? How did Corona change car travel?
This is no article about the corona regulations in Austria. As these are constantly changing, we cannot keep this information up to date. These provisions are visible on the Tourism portal of Austria. Here we describe, how we experienced our journey by car through Austria in times of Corona.
How do we experience our road trip through Austria?
It was our first trip after the lockdown. We were a little queasy, as we had only dared to leave self-isolation a few weeks earlier. We had only undertaken small car trips in our area. Went shopping in the supermarket again. No longer had our food delivered. Discovered farm shops, in which we will continue to shop more often in the future. Since we as travel bloggers work a lot at home, staying at home is nothing new for us. Travel in Corona times is, however.
Why do we choose to travel by car through Austria?
A virus free trip?
Traveling by car is not sustainable. We know that. In Corona times, however, cars are one of the modes of transportation, that offer safe travel. We travel as a couple and can thus avoid contact with other people. We disinfect the car ourselves. We therefore know when, how often and how intensively we do this. We take things with us in the car, that make it easier for us to handle Corona on the go. Disinfectants are not normally part of our luggage. This time, however, they are. Since we don't know, how to deal with hygiene on site at our destination, this gives us a feeling of security.
During breaks in service areas, contacts cannot be avoided. The mask requirement for service personnel has been abolished in Austria since July 1, 2020. (Note: it will be reintroduced from July 24.7.2020, XNUMX.) This is somewhat strange, especially at a rest area that is not far from a Corona hotspot. Other restaurant visitors seem to feel the same way. Many of them wear masks, while the waitress at the buffet doesn't wear any.
There is a disinfection column in front of the entrance to the buffet area. You can clean your hands on this. The fact that here - as in pre-Corona times - salads, dishes and Cake Being offered in buffet form makes us insecure.
Most restaurant visitors sit at one of the outdoor tables with big distances between them. Inside the restaurant, only one couple eats their food at the table.
Sanitary areas in the rest area
Visiting a rest area is not entirely contact-free. We do not notice any protective measures in the sanitary facilities. Everyone touches door handles. Disinfectants are not available for this. The more thoroughly I wash my hands after using them.
I notice a rest stop along the route, which is closed. There are two transportable toilets, in which an environment without viruses is not possible. I do not know the reason for the parking lot being blocked, but I can imagine that this is one of the reasons.
So if you are planning a road trip through Austria, you should be prepared, that not all rest areas are accessible.
Restaurants on the go
It was striking that all restaurants along the main roads on our route were closed on the day we arrived - a Wednesday. I couldn't find one restaurant in the villages along the route that was open. This was different on the return journey. We drove back home on Saturday. I saw several inns along the same main road, that we could have visited. The innkeepers obviously expect day trippers from the surrounding area on the weekends. Through traffic is likely to bring too little business to make opening the restaurant worthwhile on weekdays.
Where are Corona hotspots?
During the trip we kept an eye on the news about Corona hotspots. We didn't want to risk quarantine that would keep us somewhere for a fortnight. The best way to do this in Austria is via the website of the Ministry of Health . In the CSV Downloads you can find out how the infection numbers develop along your route. Thus you can keep an eye on the situation and, if necessary, reschedule your plans.
Pay attention to cancellation conditions when booking a hotel
We were not affected by this on our trip because we were invited by the monasteries. However, if you book your trip, it is worthwhile to make sure that the accommodation you choose offers cancellation free of charge. Many innkeepers, hoteliers and vacation rental companies have now adjusted to this. With hotel agents like booking.com * you can search for accommodations that offer cancellation without costs and advance or down payment.
What we learned for car trips in times of Corona?
Catering on the go
- If the route leads along country roads away from the motorways, that take longer, then we take provisions and drinks with us. A picknick can be organized outdoors without contact. It also makes you independent of restaurant openings.
- If we are planning a stopover in a restaurant, we will call there to see if it is open on our day of travel. If necessary, we reserve a table.
Hygiene en route
- We take disinfection wipes with us for sanitary facilities, that we use on the go. We use these to clean door handles and sanitary facilities ourselves. This is the only way to ensure, that they are virus-free.
- We always put on masks, when we enter rooms or restaurants. Even if these are no longer required everywhere, it is a sign of respect for the people, we are dealing with. Corona still is a danger.
- In times of Corona, we only consider accommodations, that offer cancellation without costs and advance or down payment. This way we stay flexible and avoid costs and disputes.
- For accommodations, we make sure that they require little contact with the staff.
- Before the trip to Austria, we download the Austria's contact tracing app on the cell phone. This is available via the App Store and Google Play.
- Before the trip, we will find out, where Corona hotspots are along the route. We circumvent these on a large scale. If this is not possible, we do not plan any stops in these regions.
With these precautions, a car trip to Austria in Corona times becomes one Enjoyment trip. So that too culinary journey becomes a pleasure, we pay attention to dealing without contact with the local people. It goes without saying that we wear a mask out of respect for the other person.
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Source for car trips through Austria during Corona: on-site research
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs